Pasta e Ceci (Chickpea and Pasta Soup)
There are so many ways to make “pasta e ceci”. I’ve seen all sorts of variations (including or excluding any of the following ingredients) tomatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, celery, anchovies, and bacon. I think the only common thread to all the versions I’ve seen is that it involves some sort of pasta, chickpeas, and rosemary. This is the version that makes me happy between how I first learnt to make it while living in Abruzzo and how my Ligurian mother in law makes hers.
29oz/822g/1.8lb chickpeas (drained about 17.5oz/500g/1.1lb)
2/3 cup short pasta (like ditalini or mini shells)
3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1/2 carrot, very finely chopped
1/2 onion, very finely chopped
1/2 celery stick, very finely chopped
1 sprig of rosemary
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (plus some for serving)
salt and freshly ground pepper
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Serves: 4 – Total Cook Time: Approx. 30 minutes
1. In a medium-large heavy pot cook the carrots, onions, celery, and rosemary with olive oil over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes. The time it takes for the vegetables to soften.
2. While the vegetables are going puree 1/2 of chickpeas (1 can) with 1 cup broth of until smooth.
3. To soften vegetables add chickpea puree, whole chickpeas, bay leaf, remaining broth and pasta. Cook uncovered for about 15 minutes, until pasta is “al dente”. The result will be a creamy soup like consistency. Remove bay leaf and rosemary twig. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve as is or with a bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a bit of olive oil.